THE WAITING ROOM.

Asa once said: “There is fire on the mountain, and nobody seems to be on the run.”

To my infantile mind, those words were nothing more than lyrics inspiring within me, at the time, a sense of freedom in the rhythm of the song. Now, I understand the deep and almost painful realization the artist had obviously come to when she sang those haunting words.

If society were a woman, she would be an uneducated one; meaning lacking knowledge or intelligence (in this case). She would be a liar and a contradictive fool, also she would be ignorant to all within her and poisonous to all without. Being a problematic lover with an egotistical and self-serving view of life she would prance around in an effortless stride as she destroyed homes and tarnished lives in the process. She would say “I am always right” even when she was clearly wrong and woe unto those who tried to say otherwise. For like a viper, she would twist her ugly head and strike the person to death.

This was my view of my society as I sat in the Oredo service waiting area. Bored as I was, I decided to take in the rather plain environment and register the oddities around me. At first, I almost didn’t notice the frail, slender figure in a deep pink zebra patterned gown. The somewhat slender, yet slightly voluminous figure filling the gown would have missed a normal man’s eye but a society this vile can never produce normal men.

The girl had little or no definingly beautiful feature on her small walnut-shaped face but in her deep brown eyes, I registered confusion. She wouldn’t last long though, a man in his middle twenties would probably offer to help her out and regardless of the fact that she was probably a minor, he would still press his sexual advances on her and God forbid she fell prey to them. I decided to shield my eyes from her, her path was through a route that was neither pleasant nor necessary for me. I noticed soon after the pink zebra five young men approaching the building. It wasn’t odd to compare these men to a ragtag group of monkeys each appearing to spot the oddest set of yellowish patchy designs on their hair or rather in this case fur. Each stood somewhat straight and walked with an odd sort of swagger that said: “look at me”.

The first seemed of average height (well compared to others from the pack) and they walked in a straight line as though performing a well-practiced routine and entered the office area of the building completely disregarding the long queue of people waiting outside, including myself. I have to admit, I did get some satisfaction after they were yelled out of the small dully fashioned room. The routiners continued in their odd fashion with the last of the men, walking out first and the one before him and so on. It was an odd mix of badly dyed hair, saggy blue jeans, the occasional gaudy wristwatch, and flamboyant t-shirts.

The whole thing was hilarious and I couldn’t help but wonder why anybody would behave or dress that way and then my mind went back to the girl and a sigh escaped me. The answer was as obvious as the deep red and bright orange kimono I was sporting. This was simply the world we lived in, where young men dressed like fools and the women were just as bad. Where everything and everyone carries themselves with an over exaggerated air of importance with a disregard to the fellow man. You may deny it but I doubt you haven’t had your moment even I would admit to having more than a few.

But if you haven’t well then bravo! You are truly a saint amongst Nigerian men and women.

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